California Practice Materials Overview

California Codes, Rules, and Regulations


California Statutes and Amendments to the Codes: official yearly publication of the State of California. On the official web page for California legislative material, from 1993 onward. Also on Lexis and Westlaw.

  • Deering's Codes Annotated (on Lexis)
  • West's Annotated California Codes (on Westlaw)
  • Unannotated Code on official California web page
  • LARMAC: Index to the California codes

Local Rules-California State Courts

Bay Area Local Court Rules KFC992 A191 Patron Services

This is a companion set to the West Group Federal and State Court Rules. There are similar volumes covering local rules for most other California geographic areas.

California. Court rules KFC992 .A192 Patron Services

Looseleaf set, produced by the Los Angeles Daily Journal Corporation. Updates local rules in all California courts (municipal, superior, and federal district court) regularly. Also includes California appellate court and supreme court rules.

California rules of court, state KFC30.5 .W472 Patron Services

Published by West Group, this is a one volume compilation of California Supreme Court and Appellate Courts rules. It also includes general (but not local) rules for municipal and unified superior courts, and many specialized court rules (e.g. juvenile court, ADR Rules, Rules for Fax Filing and Service). It is replaced every six months (January 1 and July 1 Revised issues). Compact and relatively inexpensive paperback.


Westlaw: All Databases > U.S. State Materials > California > Court Rules & Orders
(includes court rules governing state, local state and local federal practice in California)
Also a new Westlaw service - KeyRules -
All Databases > U.S. State Materials > KeyRules
"an outline of the applicable rules of practice, timing requirements, filing and service requirements, hearing information, checklists and other pertinent documents related to pleadings, motions, requests, notices, and applications."

Legal > States Legal - U.S. > California > Cases > Find Statutes, Regulations, Administrative Materials & Court Rules
(includes Federal Court Local Rules)

SmartRules (Subscription Database)
"It gives detailed, step-by-step instructions for handling procedures in state and federal courts throughout the country."

Official California Courts web site. - links to California trial courts and to court rules if available.


Barclays Official California Code of Regulations (CCR): Note that the some of the Building Code and some Fire/Life safety codes are published separately, not part of the CCR. Also available on Lexis and Westlaw.

California Legislative History

It is important to understand that there are no services such as CIS or Thomas for compiling or tracking legislative histories of California bills. The Official California Legislative Information site is excellent, but the fact is that most of the legislative history documents that we have come to expect at the federal level simply aren't available at the state level. For instance, California does not have transcripts of floor debate and only a tiny percentage of committee hearings are published. Constructing an extensive legislative history of a California bill usually requires that you go to Sacramento and use the legislative archives.

The Law Library has a useful Guide to Finding California Legislative History.

California Legislative History Material in Lexis and Westlaw:

  • Lexis contains the full text of current bills and the California Legislative Committee Analysis of Pending Bills from 1991 to current. Lexis also has a Bill Tracking service for bills proposed in the current session of the Assembly. In addition, Lexis has an archive of California Codes. Be sure to check date coverage, because although coverage begins in 1991 not all subsequent years are archived.
  • Westlaw contains the full text of current bills, as well as the California Legislative Committee Analysis of Pending Bills (in Westlaw it's called Committee Analysis). Like Lexis, they also have a bill tracking service for the current Assembly.
  • Both Lexis and Westlaw have all the chaptered bills as part of their annotated code services. Retrospective coverage varies, so be sure to click on the Information button to verify what years are included.

California Government and Other Websites for Legislative History Material:

California Appellate and Supreme Court Cases

Cases/Court Opinions

  • California Courts: The Judicial Branch of California (Official Judical Branch website)
  • California Reports (Cal., Cal. 2d, 3d, 4th) Cal. Supreme Court cases.
  • California Appellate Reports (Cal. App., Cal. App. 2d, 3d. 4th)
  • California Official Reports Advance Sheets — The contract for the Official Reports was awarded to Lexis-Nexis in 2003 and now the offical reports, with "official" headnotes are available in Lexis.. Although official headnotes are on Lexis (and on Westlaw up to June 30, 2003 ), the official digest is not. Only the official headnotes/research system appears in the print version.)
  • California Reports and California Appellate Reports (1934- ) — Findlaw now has cases with official citations and page numbers back to 1934.
  • California Cases from Lexis-Nexis — Lexis-Nexis as the publisher of the California Official Reports is now making available opinions, without headnotes or other enhancements, from both the California Supreme Court and California Courts of Appeal from 1850 to present.
  • West's California Reporter (Cal. Rptr.) — contains both California Supreme and appellate court cases.
  • West's Pacific Reporter (P., P 2d) — after 1960 contains only Cal. Supreme Court cases: Both published by the West Group as part of the National Reporter System. (The California Reporter version of the cases, with West headnotes and Topic/Key numbers are on Westlaw. These Topics and Key numbers are searchable in Westlaw.
  • California Digest of Official Reports (linked to Official Reports)
  • West's California Digest (linked to West system)
  • West's Pacific Digest and Decennial Digest/General Digest — can also be used to find California cases.
  • American Law Reports (ALR) — can also be used as to find California cases.

Court Rules

General rules are in the two annotated codes. See separate handout on Court Rules for more information.

  • Deerings (Lexis): Rules
  • West's: Court Rules

Jury Instructions

  • CACI (California Jury Instructions—Civil) and CALJIC (California Jury Instructions—Criminal — Both published by Matthew Bender with forms, both vailable on Lexis and Westlaw.
  • Judicial Council, California Jury Instructions — California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) and California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM)
  • See also: California Forms of Jury Instruction, published by Matthew Bender

California Practice Treatises and Guides

Below are examples of titles that are available from some major publishers of California legal material. This list is designed to give you an idea of the scope of information that is available for California practitioners. It is by no means a complete list of each publisher's titles or a complete list of all publishers of California legal materials. Note also that many of these publishers have been bought up by larger publishers. In a year or two some of these publications could disappear or merge with other publications. To find the call numbers/locations of these publications in the Boalt law library you can do a title search in LawCat.


  • California Civil Practice: a multivolume set that covers a wide range of subjects, including Business, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Family Law, Real Property, Torts, UCC, etc.
  • California Jurisprudence (CalJur): legal encyclopedia and linked to ALR, AMJUR, Proof of Facts and other Total Client Service Library products.
  • California Real Estate (Miller & Starr)

Witkin Legal Institute

In addition to the books, the Witkin Legal Institute offers practice information, current developments in the law and a wide range of services. Note that the group of texts we collectively refer to as "Witkin" is owned by West Group and are available on Westlaw.

  • California Medical Malpractice
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Procedure (Civil)
  • Summary of California Law

Lexis Publishing

  • California Courtroom Evidence—Foundations
  • California Workers' Compensation Law

Matthew Bender (owned by Lexis Publishing)

This is just a selected list of Matthew Bender titles, but all titles are currently available via Lexis.

  • California Corporations Law
  • California Criminal Defense Practice
  • California Environmental Law and Land Use Practice
  • California Family Law Practice
  • California Forms of Pleading and Practice
  • California Law of Employee Injuries and Workers' Compensation
  • California Legal Forms (Transaction Guide)
  • California Points and Authorities
  • California Public Agency Practice
  • California Tax Analysis
  • California Torts
  • Public Sector Labor Relations

CEB and OnLaw (Continuing Education of the Bar)

With offices are located in Oakland, CEB is a semi-public publisher closely associated with the University of California. Materials are designed to serve the needs of the practicing bar of California. OnLAW provides online access to over 100 CEB titles. and allows users to search the full text of CEB practice guides and action guides to find California legal commentary and analysis.

  • Advising California Condominium and Homeowners Association
  • California Tort Damages
  • California Tort Guide
  • California Trial Objections
  • California Trust Administration
  • California Wills and Trusts Forms
  • Civil Procedure Before Trial and Forms
  • Civil Procedure During Trial
  • Durable Powers of Attorney
  • Estate Planning Practice
  • Eviction Defense Manual
  • Irrevocable Living Trusts
  • Secured Transactions
  • Wrongful Employment Termination

Nolo Press

An independent publisher located in Berkeley, Nolo Press's home page provides extensive information and answers to many legal questions, as well as being a sales conduit for Nolo Press books.

  • The Deeds Book
  • Dog Law
  • Everybody's Guide to Municipal Court
  • Fight Your Ticket and Win
  • How to Buy a House in California
  • How to Do Your Own Divorce
  • How to File for Bankruptcy
  • Living Together Kit
  • Small Claims Court
  • Tenants Rights

Rutter Group (owned by Thompson/West Group)

All of these titles are part of the California Practice Guide series. This series is available on Westlaw and in print.

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Civil Procedure Before Trial
  • Civil Trials amd Evidence
  • Civil Writs and Appeals
  • Corporations
  • Employment Litigation
  • Enforcing Judgments and Debts
  • Family Law
  • Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial
  • Federal Ninth Circuit Civil Appellate Practice
  • Insurance Litigation
  • Landlord Tenant
  • Personal Injury
  • Probate
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Real Property Transactions

Aspen Publishing

  • Marsh's California Corporations Law — Aspen is not a major publisher of California practice material, but Marsh's is a mainstay of California corporations lawyers.

General Federal Materials

  • Bureau of National Affairs: BNA is a long standing independent legal publisher that produces a number of treatises and practice materials. The Library subscribes to a package of these electronically as well as many just in print. For a complete product listing go to the corporate BNA site.
  • Wright and Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure

General Web Sites and Reference Works on California Legal Research


Citation Manual

  • California Style Manual : A Handbook of Legal Style for California Courts and Lawyers (the "Yellow Book") — California governmental agencies do not use Bluebook citation form, and briefs submitted to the California courts may use either Yellow Book or Bluebook citation styles.

Reference Works

  • Martin, Daniel. Henke's California Law Guide. 8th ed. 2006 (Lexis Law Publishing) — Reference Desk: KFC74 .H46 2006
  • Hanft, John K. Legal Research in California. 5th ed. 2004 (West Group) — Reference Desk: KFC74 .H36 2004

Last edited by Michael Levy, 15 March 2011